Friday, March 16, 2007

Bakso and Satay @ Restaurant T.A.R., Kuala Lumpur

I must admit that I seldom wander around the Chow Kit area but I'm slowly exploring the place bit by bit and discovering it's wonders. Nowadays, the place is heavily occupied by Indonesians who have come here to work. Even when you visit a newspaper stand, you will see copies of the Jawa Post right next to the local papers.

Last weekend, after reading Eating Asia's entry on Bakso, we decided to give it a try. It's pretty easy to spot the restaurant as it's just off the main road. Right before the restaurant which is next to the KL Monorail entrance, you'll pass by a string of pawn shops. Being a cat lover, I was fascinated with one particular pawnshop as it had a beautiful cat sitting on it's glass counter.

Since it was the weekend, the place was packed with Indonesians enjoying their lunch hence we shared a table with two Indonesian ladies. We ordered a bowl of Bakso each (RM3.50) which came with a mix of yellow noodles and glass noodles and a clear broth. The bakso was pretty good and not too chewy and rubbery.

I spotted one of the tables having satay hence I asked the waitress what it was since there was no mention of any satay on the menu and she said it was "satay kambing". Curious, I ordered a plate of five sticks (RM0.50 per stick) to share. Totally unlike our local satay, it was served with kicap manis and a sprinkling of chopped bird eye chillies. Accompanying the satay was chopped lettuce, tomatoes and onions. We were also given a large plate of white rice to eat with the satay that we declined. Per our conversation with the two ladies at our table, they advised us in Northern Jawa, they eat their satay with a plate of rice. We both loved the satay which was tender and slightly smoky from their time on the hot coals. Even the kicap manis went well with the satay and was a nice change from the usual peanut sauce.

I was actually looking for the Es Cendol but despite how many times I asked, they could only prepare me this Es Campur which was filled with home made jellies in red and green. Topped with chocolate syrup, it was pretty unusual and surprisingly, not very sweet. Besides this Es Campur, they also serve the Es Teler with fruits and Es Kelapa Muda with shreds of young coconut.

The two Indonesian ladies were totally fascinated with both of us since we stood out like sore thumbs in the restaurant but they got pretty chatty to us once they knew we could converse with them in Malay (I think they thought I was Japanese since I was snapping pictures). We both enjoyed our meal here especially the satay. Besides these items, they also serve pecal, gado-gado and various cooked curries and dishes that you can self serve from the counter.

Restaurant T.A.R
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
Kuala Lumpur

(Halal. Right next to the entrance to the KL Monorail Station - Chow Kit)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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wmw said...

The Es Campur looks lovely!!! The satay looks yummy too with the chilli padi. Reminds me of the days when Satay Anika was operating in Bukit Bintang Plaza. We would always order a few bowls of cut onions, which came soaked with kicap manis. We loved it! :o)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

You're getting quite adventurous! Good for us, I suppose, as you identify all the good eating places for us. ;-) Interesting way to eat satay. Satay looks very meaty too.

Flower said...

Its easy to get Indonesian food here in Perth. Last year I went to my son's friend birthday party, his mom make some es teller. Yummy too. And when I was there, I got to taste Indonesian nasi lemak. Different from our nasi lemak. Their sambal is totally different from ours. I still prefer our sambal.

boo_licious said...

wmw - wow, satay anika is really a blast from the past. Kicap manis is addictive - I love it with Indomie.

lemongrass - the satay was really very good as the meat was so tender.

flower - Es teler is yum as it has the fruits in it which I think is a nice touch. Yeah, not everything is per our tastebuds but I kinda like some of the sambals they serve with Nasi Padang esp the green chillies one.

Precious Pea said...

What is the meatball made of? The satay looks so good with the cili padi lying on top. Must be very nice to go with rice. Am also a fan of Es Cendol...but your Es Campur looks refreshing too.

boo_licious said...

precious pea - bakso is made from beef so slightly springy but chunky and not smooth like the chinese ones. Not easy to find Es cendol though!

Tummythoz said...

This tasty post will surely bring new businesses to d place. Imagine the shopkeeper's surprise when the shop starts receiving streams of non-regulars from different races!

boo_licious said...

tummythoz - nah! They're quite cool abt it and if it serves good food, why not?

Elaine said...

Satay's been a while since i had satay. Then again, it's been a while since i had anything remotely msian save for what i do in my kitchen sometimes :P

Btw, i love the macro pix u took of the satay,'s real good.

boo_licious said...

the expedited writer - never mind, you make a mean salmon brochettes which can double up as satay?

Henry Leong said...

I like Malaysia food especially the hawker food near the causeway-Henry Leong

Valisa said...

I always think the sauce is a bit funny with Indonesian Satay! I used to live in Jakarta and I can't get used to the taste. Surprisingly when I came to Holland, the satay here is served with pinda saus - peanut sauce or kuah kacang like our Satay. But I still make my own satay and sambal satay. I can't stand the *chekur* taste in the Indonesian satays!
On Nasi Lemak - yes it is totally different? You can taste the chekur. I do like their nasi rames though - something like our nasi campur.
A lot of the dutchies I know are a bit miffed when they have satay in Jakarta or Bali with the kechap mani sauce - they think that version is not authentic hahahaha! the pinda saus just liek sates (including sate babi) are available very widely in the sueprmarkets here - the sates you can get fresh, chilled or frozen ;-)

Valisa said...

if you can get it in KL - you must try the avocado es! es apokat or something - when it is good it is to die for!

boo_licious said...

henry leong - glad you do! You might want to check out King Crab's latest outlet in JB. Heard they're really doing well.

Valisa - Yeah, I guess it's nicer with peanut sauce but I kinda like the change for once in a while. I didn't like the Minang version's sauce though which I felt was so starchy. Thxs for the tip. We always have apokat when we're at an Indonesian place. We actually tried it here which was pretty good too and cheaper than the other places we usually eat at.

Anu said...

Oh girl, u got me drooling already! Cool blog! :)

boo_licious said...

thxs anu! Do drop by and grab a bite of that satay.

DiAn PaHAm said...

aahhh u missed the mee ayam :-( my fave @ resto TAR.
have u tasted satay kambing @ Warung Jawa in Kg Pandan? Must try!
Even a CEO of TMI knows where to find best satay kambing.


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